Principal: Joe Shelburn
St. Jude Catholic Grade School has been providing a quality education for students of our parish since 1959. In 1961 a wing was added to the school to create eight new classrooms, and a facility for the buses was erected in 1968. As St. Jude continued to grow, three classrooms were built in part of the cafeteria. One of these rooms became home to the kindergarten, which started in 1989.
In 1996 a capital improvement campaign was held to expand and update the facilities. The major changes included a new church and a multipurpose building to be used as a gym. More classrooms were also built, and the cafeteria was relocated and modernized. Construction was completed in 1998. The fine arts wing was renovated in 2011, and additional classrooms were built, including a science lab.
St. Jude was one of 36 private schools nationwide named as a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence by the U.S. Department of Education in 1996. The department also awarded the school the No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon Award in 2003. These awards underscore our commitment to develop each student individually within the framework of a Christian community, emphasizing those skills that will enable our graduates to become contributing members of society, prepared to serve God and humankind and eager to meet the challenges of the future.
St. Jude considers itself blessed with a true spirit of continuity. The school has been in existence long enough that we now have the opportunity to educate the children of earlier graduates. These alumni are pleased to assist in and contribute to the growth of their alma mater.
What is your favorite school event, and how does it impact the students and faculty?
• Shoe boxes for shut-ins. During Advent the students collected special items to put in shoe boxes for our homebound parishioners. Students brought all sorts of things that they believed would bring some joy to those who received it. In the end it wasn’t about the items brought in but about the thought and intention behind each gift. The eighth-graders wrote entertaining Christmas stories – based on their memories – to put in each box.
• Thanksgiving baskets. We partnered with the Society of St. Vincent dePaul and sponsored 18 families for Thanksgiving. Each classroom was responsible for one family. The PTO provided the turkeys, and the children collected enough food so that all of these families had nice Thanksgiving Day meals. Many classrooms also provided extra groceries, cleaning products and other supplies needed for daily living. Thanks to all of the volunteers for making this project a success.
• Halloween toiletry drive. St. Jude celebrated Halloween while also helping the needy. Students brought in toiletry items and canned meats for three local shelters. The children paraded around the school in their best costumes and voted for their favorite teacher’s costume by placing a food or toiletry item in their teacher’s trick-or-treat bag.
I like these activities because they teach students the value of service and giving back to the community. They also afford the children to live their faith as Catholics.